Monday, July 24, 2017

Poker Day 504: Create Your Breaks

Poker tournaments sometimes can be a test of patience. When you sit down at the table 70 minutes later than everyone else, that's even more true. That was our challenge Sunday at Kansas Star Casino - arriving more than 20 minutes before the start of the big weekend tournament, yet sitting seventh on the "interest" list waiting for other players to be tossed.

It helped that the Sunday tournament is "deep stack," with everyone starting at 10,000. So we still had time to try to make something happen....

BLINDS: 100/200

IN THE POCKET: A-J offsuit

A few nibbles haven't worked due to pre-flop raises and missed flops. We reached the first break at 9,125. Now we're "chipped up" to 9,200 and looking at our best cards of the day.

Sitting one off the button, we decide to try something creative for us. When no one raises ahead of us, we simply call instead of raising. About five players are in.

ON THE FLOP: 2-2-10

Did anyone hit that? When the players in front of us check, we conclude they did not. So we offer 500. As we recall, two other players call. Our Ace might be best.


Now we're more confident it's best. With two pair plus an "over-kicker," the other players' checks lead us to bet 1,000. One man folds, the other across the table calls.


The runners come around to score for us. A check by our opponent brings another bet of 1,000 from us. Again he calls.

"Three pair," we declare. (Of course, in Texas Hold 'em there's no such thing.)  But that Jack on the river matters, because our opponent has A-Q. We would have been outkicked, but we wind up with a big gain to 13,000.

That kept us going for awhile.... until he dropped 3,000 in a big hand where two players clashed all-in.  We never recovered from that, finally going all-in with A-Q with 3,600 to go. A man called with K-9, and he made a 9 on the flop while we never paired. Our standing improved from our last casino trip, but still only finished 37th out of 70 total players.

MINISTRY MOMENT: For once, our card protector was one-upped.

"I have to say, I've never seen anyone with a cross at the table," we said to a man across from us. It looked like a magnet - small, with no markings on either side.

"And he brought it on Sunday," a man down the table noted.

"You can have a cross every day," we responded. While many people think of crosses as symbols inside church buildings for Sunday worship, it actually refers to an event which happened on another day of the week.

So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). - John 19:16-17

This happened during "the day of Preparation of Passover Week" (verse 14). The timing of events from Jewish calendars indicates Jesus carried the cross on a Wednesday, since He was discovered to be resurrected on a Sunday:

...And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. - Luke 24:21b

But what about us? Are we only supposed to "carry a cross" on Sundays? Jesus said no....

Then he said to them all, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." - Luke 9:23

What sort of cross is this? We don't think meant the tall wooden kind like He carried to Golgotha (better known as Calvary). But we also don't think it means a small magnet.

We think Jesus meant carrying the things that weigh us down in this life, much as He bore the sins of all humans and their penalties on our behalf. It can mean denying ourselves, as Jesus put a death for all of us above His own life. What do you think it means? Your comments are welcome.

UPDATED POKER SCOREBOARD: 184 final tables in 504 games (36.5%) - 37 cashes.

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